ADI announced a partnership with First Sensor AG to accelerate the introduction of autonomous sensing technology for unmanned vehicles, aircraft and underwater vehicles in transportation, smart agriculture, industrial manufacturing and other industrial applications.

As part of the collaboration, ADI and First Sensor will jointly develop a smaller-sized LIDAR signal chain to help manufacturers achieve higher system performance, smaller size, lower weight, power and cost when embedding sensing technology. The two companies also plan to develop other LIDAR products for automotive and industrial manufacturing applications.

For more than 25 years, ADI has been developing sensor technology for traffic safety. The latest results include multi-channel TIAs designed to convert wide dynamic range photocurrents into low impedance voltage signals. First Sensor also has more than 25 years of LIDAR APD manufacturing experience, and APD is a highly sensitive detector array that converts light into photocurrent. Optimizing the interconnection between APD and TIA is critical because it has a critical impact on the noise floor and the bandwidth that can be achieved. Improvements to these two parameters will translate directly into higher performance of the LIDAR system, allowing the system to detect objects with greater accuracy at greater distances.

Stewart Sellars, General Manager of LIDAR at ADI, said: “The first step in our collaboration is to optimize ADI’s Transimpedance Amplifier (TIA) and First Sensor’s Avalanche Photodiode (APD) to provide customers with a more powerful and efficient LIDAR solution, providing better support for LIDAR systems for large-scale commercial use in the autonomous driving market.”

“As the customer expects to refocus on achieving economical and technical solutions, the market for LIDAR systems is maturing,” Dr. Dirk Rothweiler, CEO of First Sensor, said: “Adaptating APD and TIA to each other is this evolution. The next step in the process is critical. By expanding our partnership with Analog Devices, our customers will benefit from higher LIDAR receiver performance.”

The partnership with First Sensor marks the next phase of ADI’s Drive360TM automated driving solution strategy. ADI’s Drive360 technology portfolio leverages ADI’s core competencies in high-performance MEMS, RF/millimeter wave and optoelectronic/optical technologies, enabling ADI to provide a total solution for the automotive industry and is a dedicated partner for highly automated and autonomous driving technology requirements.